MINUTES OF A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 3rd JUNE 2015 AT 7.30 PM AT THE PAVILION ROOM, MEMORIAL HALL, PUBLOW LANE PENSFORD
Present: Mr Chris James, Mr Alan Ford, Mrs Sue Grimes, Mrs Susan Aires, Mr Colin Taylor, Mr Charlie Bishop, Mrs Sarah Bishop, Mrs Lisa Cains, Mrs Janette Stephenson, Mr Simon King, Mr Charles Wookey, Mrs Meg Thomas, Mrs Julie Bragg, Mrs Lydia Robinson, Cleo Newcombe-Jones (B&NES).
1) Apologies were received from Caroline Batten, Jane Flower, Umang Patel, Phil Tyson, John Kelly.
2) Chairman’s Remarks: Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. Following the Open Meetings the Committee had potentially expanded in membership. This had prompted a change in venue. A round the table introduction followed with everyone attending giving their specific interest if they had one.
3) Minutes of Previous Meetings: The minutes of Wednesday 13th May 2015 after being circulated and read were signed as a correct and true record.
4) Matters Arising: Grant: The Grant Application had now been submitted and a response awaited. A Financial Update is in the process of being prepared by John Kelly.
Terms of Reference: Will be taken to the next Parish Council Meeting for approval.
5) Feedback from Meetings: The Parish Council were reminded of the dates for the Open Drop In Sessions.
6) Items for Discussion:
Open Meetings: Evaluation and Feedback: The Open Sessions had taken place and Chairman thanked all who gave up their time to help with the setting up, their time during the day to man the Open Sessions and those who helped pack away. Both days were a great success and had resulted in an expanded committee. The Post It notes were well used and all visitors appeared to engage with the displays and information. Comments and views expressed were very interesting.
A raw analysis of the Post It Notes had been undertaken and this highlighted two top issues. First under Traffic & Transport the A37 showed concern in relation to recent accidents, the problems of speeding and narrowness of the road. Second was Housing and issues regarding how difficult it is to provide Affordable and Social Housing. One suggestion made was that the Old Age Pensioners bungalows are in the wrong place and should be down in the village.
Other issues highlighted included Car Parking, Bus Routes, Utilities: Broadband was a high priority. Mains Gas: We don’t have it/should we? Renewable Energy: An issue we should address with Solar Panels for the Viaduct a suggestion.
Environmental: Footpaths, Heritage Trail, conserving the Heritage we have were just a few other issues mentioned.
Simon King confirmed that all Post Its had been collated, photos had been taken at the Open Meetings for record keeping. It was suggested that maybe a snap shot of photos could be placed on the web site.
Cleo Newcombe-Jones from BANES joined the meeting at 7.50p.m. She explained that she is working with a number of parishes some of which have completed their Neighbourhood Plan.
Designation of Green Spaces: The question arose about designating Green Spaces and how do we designate a Green Space. CNJ explained that within our Plan we can designate local green spaces which could be for instance small parks within the settlement or small pockets of trees. The land does not have to be accessible to be designated and the owner does not have to agree, however the owner can object to designation if they so wish.
The benefit of designation is that it protects against development.
What does Green Space mean? Does it have to be Green? – Answer – No this is guidance in its broadest sense. Green Space could be a parking area. Chairman told committee to give this some thought as it is an opportunity to look at undeveloped areas and do we wish to save them and if so maybe we could include something in the Plan.
What do we do now? A discussion took place on how to feed back to the public all of the information we had gathered. The Web Site was thought to be a good way of feeding back.
It was suggested that hard copies of the Post It Note comments would be put into a folder. The folders will be placed at popular locations in the village i.e. Post Office, Coffee Shop, Hairdressers, Pubs for people to sit and read.
An article will be placed in the Parish Magazine which will prompt people about looking for the folders in these locations to be able to view the results. Simon King agreed to do the printing and Julie Bragg will put together the folders and distribute around the village.
Lydia Robinson joined the meeting at 8.05p.m.
Questionnaire: Amendments to Format: Chairman gave a brief history of how the Questionnaire has evolved and at what stage we are at with it. The draft questionnaire had formed the Topics at the open meetings.
It was agreed that the questionnaire cannot be rushed and more time to go through the format of the questionnaire should be taken. The objective initially was for it to go out after the school summer holidays. Simon King suggested obtaining more copies of the CPRE booklet about Neighbourhood Planning.
Planning Policies and Action Policies were explained by CNJ. E.g. Highways would be an Action Policy. Parking could be included as an Action Policy. Neighbourhood Plans can have a mixture of both Policies some Parishes have only included items which require Planning (Planning Policies).
A Draft Neighbourhood Plan will be Tested, Inspected & then Approved by the Inspector. It will then go to a referendum and if approved becomes a legal document.
The Committee looked at the questionnaire to see how many sections are Action and how many are planning and how items could be made broader to gain more information. It was agreed that the Housing Section could be broadened so too the Business. Local Greenspace will be put in the Plan, Design Policies will be put in the Plan.
There will be one Questionnaire per household, further copies will be available to download from the Web Site and at the Post Office.
Susan Aires asked What and how can the Neighbourhood Plan Affect Sustainability: Could it be put in as an Action Policy. Chairman suggested taking a look at neighbouring Plans as Frome’s Plan contained a section on Biodiversity. The Plan could include Design Policies for the siting of Passive Energies.
Chairman informed the committee that everyone will have the opportunity to say/suggest how they would like their community to develop. Housing is very important.
The A37 is a real problem but through this process and with more evidence the Neighbourhood Plan may have an influence on what happens. CNJ is working with Whitchurch on their Neighbourhood Plan and they share many of the same Topics. They are including Speeding as an Action Policy.
Simon King suggested that we separate the Topics where Planning is required and what is an Action Policy.
Mr Ford suggested that we go back to the beginning with the questionnaire and make the questions very specific using what information has been gained from the Post It Note comments. We need to identify the strongly supported/denied areas and identify the areas of contention and stability. We need to include a Policy to deal with the A37. It was suggested that the Comment Box should be moved to the end of the questionnaire.
In summary Chairman said that the Questionnaire will be shortened. Restricting only to tick boxes so there is less opportunity to comment. Stress that the questionnaire can be individual or as a whole if the household all agree on the same Topics. This should gain a higher % return. Simon King added that the Housing & Business Questions should be broadened.
Alan Ford proposed that two or three committee members should take on board all comments and produce together another draft questionnaire to be tabled at the next meeting. Sue Grimes and Susan Aires offered to help.
Timing of Questionnaire: The Timing of the questionnaire will be refined at the July Meeting: it may be late September/October when it goes out. We do not want to waste the opportunity to gain feedback.
Distribution/Collection: Freepost was discussed as a way of collecting the questionnaires. Cost of this will be looked into.
Delivery of the Questionnaires, Umang at the Post Office will be asked. Maybe Neighbourhood Planning Committee could hand deliver them. Clerk to the Parish Council has a copy of the Electoral Roll.
Encouragement: How do we encourage return of the Questionnaire? Encouraging return by offering an incentive which could be a meal at a local pub?
7) Any Other Business: Chairman said that maybe now we should be thinking of moving forward in groups to look at particular areas which are of interest. The groups were not formed but ideas for group topics were Traffic, Housing, Utilities, Business, Environment.
A joint meeting with Whitchurch Parish Council will be arranged.
8) Date and Venue of next Meeting: The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 1st July 2015 at 7.30 pm at the Memorial Hall.
Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10 pm